Howa 7mm-08 Ultralight - Struggling to develop load/sight in.

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Howa 7mm-08 Ultralight - Struggling to develop load/sight in.

    Good morning all.

    Background information - I purchased my young fella a Howa ultralight stainless/hogue in 7mm-08. It is topped with a VX1 3-9. The entire package is new.
    I spent a day at the range running the rifle in as per the Howa instructions. I was using 140gr Sierras with 40gr 2208 in new Remington cases with CCI large rifle primers. I was shooting at 50yds to get the scope sorted and things looked promising. First 10 (with cooling down and cleaning between shots) produced a 1/2" hole. Then 2 consecutive shots (with cooling down and cleaning between) for the next 10 shots produced the same result. Sweet I thought. Now I know this was only at 50yds but for a ultralight and running in process I thought this rifle has promise.....

    Fast forward a week and me at the range with some load development. Two lots to try. First up 140gr berger vld hunting with 2208 and second Hornady SST 139gr also with 2208. Both ranging from 40gr to 42gr in .5 gr increments. This was as per all of my reloading resources. Development at 100yds. Shooting was done on a caldwell rock with leather sand bag.

    The result was less than impressive. Just about all averaged 3-3.5" for 5 shot groups. I was careful to not overheat the barrel as it is but wafer thin. I also have a .243 in Win featherweight and I learned my lesson there. This Howa makes the featherweight feel like a varmint barrel. I had trouble keeping the muzzle from jumping around all over the place. I tried the softly gently approach and the choke the grip and pull in like a teenage boy approach but with the same result. One thing I did notice was the Hogue rubber stock would not slide whatsoever in the rests. It just gripped and jumped.

    I have since ordered a boyds stock for it but I would like to know of anybody elses experience when it comes to sighting in a very light rifle. I was talking to a mate who has a weatherby mk5 in 308w ultralight and he reckons he had a horrendous time too. Even when hunting he prefers to not use a rest.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Dazza.

  • #2
    yeah the hogues grip the bags like glue sometimes.
    try the following;
    sit the gun in its rests with you ready to shoot it.
    now push the gun forwards in the bags, loading it up similar to a bipod.
    adjust sight on target via manipulating the rear bag.

    this allows the Hogue to move back ever so slightly when its fired.
    also, with hogues, don't let it rest near the fore-end too much, they're not rigid enough.
    also check that nothing has come loose, such as the scope mounts/rings/action screws.
    then again, just wait till you get the new stock.

    Comment


    • zom813
      zom813 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Send-it. I will try that technique while I wait for the stock. I was going to try a bi-pod but the flexi fore-end put me off.
      I gave the whole rig a check and re-tension prior and during the sight in process and all was tight.

      Dazza.

  • #3
    Why did you change the loads that were working fine at 50y? I'm sure they would have been fine at 100y too. It may not like the projies or charge your using now by the sounds of it.
    Whacking Varmints is my passion!

    Comment


    • #4
      I'd go back to the initial load, 10 into .5" at 50m sounds like a load to stick with.

      Berger VLD's can be much more difficult to tune. Have a look at the article on Berger's website regarding seating depth tests to find the sweet spot. I've gone to the Berger 168gr Classic Hunters are there are much more forgiving with seating depth. I can't get the 168gr Berger VLD's to shoot well in my X-Bolt when loaded to cycle through the mag.

      With light rifles you must really be consistent with the fundamentals and control the forend either by holding the forend or an overhand hold on top of the scope.

      Comment


      • #5
        Thanks Varminator and Dino67 for your replies. I was only using the sierras as they were factory seconds and leftover from a 7x57 from years ago. I only had roughly 40 of them left so I figured I would use them to run in the barrel instead of the more expensive projectiles. The fore ends are pretty flimsy on the hogue stocks so I might give the overhand hold a go.

        Dazza.

        Comment


        • Varminator
          Varminator commented
          Editing a comment
          Originally posted by zom813" post=46301
          Thanks Varminator and Dino67 for your replies. I was only using the sierras as they were factory seconds and leftover from a 7x57 from years ago. I only had roughly 40 of them left so I figured I would use them to run in the barrel instead of the more expensive projectiles. The fore ends are pretty flimsy on the hogue stocks so I might give the overhand hold a go.

          Dazza.
          I'd be having a look at the Sierra range and see what they have in the same type, weight OAL range etc and work on those mate, doesn't sound like the ones your using are going to go well in the 7/08. Or you could have a fiddle with seating depths and get em as close to the lands as possible and see if that makes a diff.

          Good luck

      • #6
        A couple of tricks I have learnt with my ultralight rifles are...
        1/ hold the front of the rifle down. I put the offside hand on the forend just forward of the action, not touching the barrel but placing consistent downwards pressure on the forend.
        2/ go to a slower powder. Move to AR2209 behind those 140gn bullets instead of 2208. Barrels generally, thin ones in particular, really do prefer slow burn powders. You won't lose any noticeable velocity with the AR2209, but you will pickup accuracy.
        3/ snug the rifle into your shoulder. The light rifles bounce around due to their weight - make yourself part of the rifle system.

        Comment


        • #7
          Those Hogue stocks will stick to your bags like bindii's to your socks I found that out with a Hogue stock a few years ago and they are a bit flexible so do not rest out near the end of the forend, as a fix to make it ride the bags while shooting off the bench I just put some 100mph race tape on the stock where it sits on the bags, this let the rifle slide a bit and stopped the jump, could be worth a try in your case to see if it helps improve your groups/sighting in

          Comment


          • #8
            Originally posted by zom813" post=46223
            Good morning all.

            Background information - I purchased my young fella a Howa ultralight stainless/hogue in 7mm-08. It is topped with a VX1 3-9. The entire package is new.
            I spent a day at the range running the rifle in as per the Howa instructions. I was using 140gr Sierras with 40gr 2208 in new Remington cases with CCI large rifle primers. I was shooting at 50yds to get the scope sorted and things looked promising. First 10 (with cooling down and cleaning between shots) produced a 1/2" hole. Then 2 consecutive shots (with cooling down and cleaning between) for the next 10 shots produced the same result. Sweet I thought. Now I know this was only at 50yds but for a ultralight and running in process I thought this rifle has promise.....

            Fast forward a week and me at the range with some load development. Two lots to try. First up 140gr berger vld hunting with 2208 and second Hornady SST 139gr also with 2208. Both ranging from 40gr to 42gr in .5 gr increments. This was as per all of my reloading resources. Development at 100yds. Shooting was done on a caldwell rock with leather sand bag.

            The result was less than impressive. Just about all averaged 3-3.5" for 5 shot groups. I was careful to not overheat the barrel as it is but wafer thin. I also have a .243 in Win featherweight and I learned my lesson there. This Howa makes the featherweight feel like a varmint barrel. I had trouble keeping the muzzle from jumping around all over the place. I tried the softly gently approach and the choke the grip and pull in like a teenage boy approach but with the same result. One thing I did notice was the Hogue rubber stock would not slide whatsoever in the rests. It just gripped and jumped.

            I have since ordered a boyds stock for it but I would like to know of anybody elses experience when it comes to sighting in a very light rifle. I was talking to a mate who has a weatherby mk5 in 308w ultralight and he reckons he had a horrendous time too. Even when hunting he prefers to not use a rest.

            Any help would be appreciated.

            Dazza.
            Firstly congrats on getting "the young fella" his first rifle
            Im also not sure why you would start doing LD on a new rifle with one set of components @ 50mtrs & then change it for 100mtrs??
            Anyway you cant go wrong with the boyds but Id be making sure your get it glass bedded if you want to bet the best accuracy from the howa!

            Comment


            • Jerry
              Jerry commented
              Editing a comment
              Have to agree with sticking to the original recipe and also running the projectile just a few thou off the lands if your magazine will handle it. I own one featherweight, a Finnlight and it shoots one holers with much the same recipe you are using, CCI LR, 41gn 2208 and 139gn Hornady Interlock about 5 thou off the lands. The attached pic is from when I removed and replaced the scope. First shot is high centre, three shots next to the coin and final sighting shot to the right, all at 100m.
              Your rifle obviousley has potential, all the best with it.
              Jerry
              Click image for larger version

Name:	7-08.JPG
Views:	2
Size:	21.3 KB
ID:	57751

          • #9
            Thanks for the replies guys.
            Strikey - love the race tape idea, I can't believe I didn't think of that.
            Aushunter - this is the young fella's 5th rifle......and he is only 13. I bought it when Pine Rivers Gunshop was having their 21st sale. Also I was just getting the scope on paper and running the rifle in at 50yds so I would not waste the dearer projectiles. (I only had 40 of the sierras left too which was another reason for the change)
            260nomad - you are right, that is why we reload. To fine tune. The reference material I have for reloads is only between 40gr and 42gr so the .1 increments may produce better results. I will give them a run.
            Jerry - your picture is the results I hope to get. I reckon I will get there.

            Now off to the shed to get some race tape and set up the reloading bench.....could think of worse ways to spend Christmas eve.

            Comment


            • #10
              Hi Mate, I purchased the same rifle from Pine rivers but have not had much time to develop loads for it yet. I have tried 41 gn of 2208 and sierra 140 gn prohunters as these have worked well in other 7mm08 rifles. But its still a work in progress. I think these featherweight Howas are very sensitive to load changes, projectiles etc. I have had featherweight rifles before that are not as temperamental.

              3 shot groups are probably more realistic with a stalking ultralight rifle as 5 shot groups are a bit of a stretch with the light barrel. I intend to persist with the Sierra projectiles as they seem to perform well in most of my rifles.

              I agree the hold down method described may work well when sighting in. I will give it a go as well.

              Comment


              • #11
                Well after a busy start to the year I finally got down to the range with the new stock on the rifle. Made a huge difference off the benchrest.
                With the rifle being able to slide instead of gripping the front bag and the tips from you guys on here, I managed to find a suitable load of 41gr 2208 behind a Berger 140gr hunting projectile. I limited the groups to 3 rounds as it is an ultralight and never will be a target rifle. The worst group was just over an inch at 100m and best was 3/4 of an inch. Perfect for hunting.

                Dazza

                Comment

                Working...
                X